Happy International Museum day!
A rose by any other name: MAC's Rose Romance collection

It's a jungle out there: Guerlain Exotic Paradise palette

I've been really enjoying these Guerlain eye shadow compacts that have patterns on each of the four shadows.  Their latest features a fairly abstract interpretation of leaves you might find growing deep within the jungle.

Guerlain exotic spring 09


This palette definitely reminds me more of a jungle rather than desert island palm trees, and that in turn reminded me of one of my favorite artists.  Henri Rousseau (1844-1910) was a self-taught French artist who didn't begin painting until he was in his early 40s, and depicted many jungle scenes even though he had never left France. 

Monkeys
(Tropical Forest with Monkeys, 1910, National Gallery of Art; picture from nga.gov)

And now for some personal/art history/makeup museum-related insight.  Rousseau is one of my favorites because I see much of myself in him and his life.  The Curator is always rooting for the underdog, and Rousseau is the epitome of an underdog.  He had always desperately wanted a career in art but, lacking the financial advantages that would allow him to pursue it full-time, he held various administrative jobs that stifled him, a story the Curator knows all too well.  When biographer Cornelia Stabenow1 writes, "The only escape route lay in art...in spite of the continual risk of mockery, he exploited every opportunity to rise out of anonymity," she may as well be describing me - just change "he" to "she" and it's dead on.   Anyway, Rousseau persevered even though his work was often made fun of by critics, who regarded him as having no more artistic skill than a child - his work "caused many viewers to laugh till they cried."2 

But he kept painting and painting, and towards the end of his life he began receiving serious critical recognition for his work, and now his paintings hang in the likes of MoMA and the National Gallery of Art.  Needless to say I find great inspiration in him.  He was the little  toll collector that could, and I'm the little museum that could.  It might take me till I'm 80 - it truly is a jungle out there - but someday I will have a real Makeup Museum!  (Oh, and get that Ph.D. I've been hankering after since I was 8.) 

1 Cornelia Stabenow, Rousseau (London: Taschen, 2001) 10.

2 Cornelia Stabenow, Rousseau (London: Taschen, 2001) 7.

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